The Economist Launches DRTV Campaign to Reach New Audiences
How the brand uses audience research to implement new marketing ideas.
The ad, titled “The world needs another Economist reader,” marks the first for the editorial unit in creating a commercial to represent the brand, and is a call to action to encourage folks to call, text or visit a website to receive in order to receive a free copy of the magazine.
Mark Cripps, EVP, brand and digital marketing, says the publication aims to help its readers make sense of a “noisy, chaotic, confusing world” and “separate fake from fact,” sparking a foundation for the ad. (Good luck with that.)
“We live in turbulent times, perhaps more so now than in recent history, and people are seeking an independent and informed opinion to decide where they stand on the issues that matter,” Cripps tells Folio:. “We believe the world will benefit from a greater number of people reading The Economist content, hence our pitch ‘The world needs another Economist reader.’”
The promo aired through October, and will continue to run through this month on national cable networks and in key target markets such as San Francisco and Washington D.C.
Mark Beard, SVP, digital media and content strategy, explains to us that the reason for selecting these markets specifically is two-fold.
“Firstly, recent audience research tells us that globally curious individuals cluster in these two cities and represent a greater percentage of the total population than cities elsewhere in the U.S.,” he says. “Secondly, we track performance of our digital and mass marketing activities at a city level and we see particularly positive results in San Francisco and D.C., prompting us to upweight activity where we are achieving cut-through.”
Additionally, the media buy for the campaign also contained a national broadcast spot on the “Late Late Show with James Corden” on CBS.
“In the UK we have enjoyed particular success when we have included spot buys, such as Channel 4 news, within our TV media plan, so we’re replicating our plans in the U.S., where our audience research tells us that many of our prospective readers watch the ‘Late Late Show with James Corden,’” Beard explains. “And it also helps that James Corden is a fan of The Economist, recently tweeting that we have an “incredible magazine,” which adds credibility to our decision to place our creative within the ad breaks of his show.”
In terms of platform, The Economist’s choice to feature the ad on television, specifically, is part of the brand’s overall holistic approach to grow its U.S. business, noted Cripps.
“TV is just one channel within our armoury and so whilst we have right now chosen to refresh our TV ad, this is just one part of a holistic effort to grow our business in the U.S.,” he says. “We are present in pretty much every mass and digital marketing channel, including TV, radio, podcasts, display and social, and we firmly believe that every channel plays a valuable role, from generating awareness to driving subscriptions, in our quest to ensure the world benefits from having more Economist readers.”